Café Procope

Updated Tuesday 19th June 2007

An introduction to the Café Procope

Cafe Procope's location Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Open2 team

Cafe Procope, Paris Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC

This is the oldest café in Paris. It originated in 1686 when it opened as a coffee-shop. The café was close to the then theatre of Paris, contributing to its popularity. It soon became a meeting place for people of ideas and letters, becoming the first literary coffee-shop.

For more than two centuries anyone of any renown in the world of arts, literature or politics, could be found here. The reputation of French intellectuals for discussion and debate is still in evidence and current generations still meet here to talk about their concerns, ideas and plans, attracting a mix of writers and journalists, university professors, businessmen and tourists.


For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

Have a question?

Other content you may like

Episode one: Coffee Shop Hot Shots Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

Episode one: Coffee Shop Hot Shots

Just how did we became so obsessed with coffee shops and how do the brands battle for our custom?



Bon départ: beginners’ French second edition

What’s the difference between formal and informal greetings in French? How do people in Paris discuss their daily routines? This second edition of Bon départ contains a variety of short conversations covering topics as varied as ordering a meal in a restaurant or visiting a flat for sale. The following audio, video and slideshow collection was devised for those beginning to learn French and touches upon many everyday situations and scenarios.

40 mins
Restaurant Lapérouse Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Open2 team article icon


Restaurant Lapérouse

An introduction to the Restaurant Lapérouse

La Cité des sciences et de l’industrie free course icon Level 3 icon


La Cité des sciences et de l’industrie

Using the topic of science and technology in France, this free course, La Cit des sciences et de l'industrie, will show you how to structure arguments, write a summary, use the subjunctive, report numbers and express wishes in French.

Free course
15 hrs
Speak in colours! Creative commons image Icon The Open University under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license article icon


Speak in colours!

What does 'rire jaune' or 'avoir un bleu' mean? Learn French idioms that use colour to convey a particular mood or impression of a person or situation. 

Talking languages podcast Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Production team audio icon


Talking languages podcast

We talk to experts, teachers and students about languages and language learning. Whatever your background and knowledge, if you’re interested in languages this monthly podcast is for you.

30 mins
Louvre Gallery Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Open2 team article icon


Louvre Gallery

An introduction to the Louvre, one of Paris' most famous cultural centres

Concièrgerie prison Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Open2 team article icon


Concièrgerie prison

An introduction to the Concièrgerie, one of the most famous sites in Parisian history

French: Le quatorze juillet Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 2 icon


French: Le quatorze juillet

This free course, French: Le quatorze juillet, is taken from Ouverture, a language module that concentrates on French as a tool for communication, but it also provides some insights into French society and culture through authentic printed, audio and video materials. It will be of interest to all those who want to improve their language skills in order to communicate more easily and effectively in French. French: Le quatorze juillet focuses on the French national holiday of 14 July which commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison (la prise de la Bastille) in 1789.

Free course
10 hrs